On March 14, 2014 Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for a few minutes regarding aid to Pakistan.
What he said was absolutely shocking:
“Mr. Speaker, for 2 months, public attention has been riveted on Ukraine. Today, I suggest it is harmful to our security to just focus on Ukraine and ignore the battle against radical Islam and the ensuing threat of China that is far more dangerous to us than which direction Crimea goes.
Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry requested that Congress approve aid to Pakistan. That is foreign aid to Pakistan. The administration is requesting $881.8 million for aid to Pakistan. The Congress and the American people should pay attention to this request.
Since 9/11, the United States has given Pakistan over $25 billion, with over $17 billion of that going to the Pakistani security services, services that target and kill American soldiers through helping those elements in that part of the world that kill American soldiers and terrorize civilian populations.
Our generosity has only emboldened Pakistan’s military clique–that clique that actually rules the country, that clique that gave refuge to Osama bin Laden.
Most importantly, Pakistan has not been acting as our friend–not just that clique, but the government itself of Pakistan; and we don’t need to be supplementing the countries and supporting the countries and giving aid to the countries that are hostile to America’s interests and hateful of our way of life.
It is a charade to believe that our aid is buying Pakistan’s cooperation in hunting down terrorists, as Secretary Kerry stated yesterday. Frankly, that is wishful thinking, but that is not facing the reality of what we confront in South Asia.
A Pakistani commission reported on the bin Laden raid–the raid that brought bin Laden, the murderer of so many Americans, to justice–and the Pakistani commission points out negative developments in U.S.-Pakistan relations in recent years, and it is, in their view, “a growing American threat” to Pakistani interests.
These are not the sentiments of a regime that wants to work with us. These are not the sentiments of friends.
Remember, when our SEAL teams went to get Osama bin Laden, the Pakistani Government took the wreckage of one of our helicopters–a stealth helicopter, cutting-edge technology that was used in that raid–and gave it to the Communist Chinese.
Of course, the Pakistanis call the Chinese their all-weather friend, and we are supposedly just their fair-weather friend; yet we should be giving, according to this administration, over $881 million more in aid, on top of the billions that we have already given the Pakistanis.
Indeed, a study by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project found that 81 percent of those surveyed in Pakistan were favorable to Communist China–Communist China–which represses its own Muslim population, murders Christians, and is a dictatorship of a clique–of a crony capitalist clique that controls that country.
When 81 percent of those surveyed in Pakistan are favorable to that country, while only 11 percent are favorable to the United States, should we be spending money that we are borrowing from China, in order to give money to a country that likes China more than it likes the United States, and we end up giving money to the country and to the people that don’t like us?
Well, no. We should cut off our aid to Pakistan because it is not an ally, and any money we send to them only strengthens their ability to act against us and against our friends in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
We cannot buy the friendship of the people of Pakistan, nor can we buy the friendship of the Government of Pakistan. These are people who feel that their core interests and their values go totally against what we believe in and who we are, as a country.
At a time of tight budgets, we should reserve our aid for friends and allies. We should never give assistance to those who target and kill Americans or even support those elements that do target and kill Americans. Perhaps we could reexamine our motives and our ability to provide such assistance throughout the world.
Obviously, we can’t be supporting our enemies like this; but even with our friends in friendly countries, we are having to borrow money from China and elsewhere, in order to give money, as aid, to other countries. That makes no sense to me.
We need to restructure our aid situation. Yes, America does have a moral obligation to try to help others in need, but perhaps we should focus on emergency situations and limit our aid to those countries who have tsunamis or earthquakes or other catastrophes in which much of their population is in grave danger or is suffering. That type of foreign aid is something we can be proud of, and we can channel it to any group of people in the world who are ordinary people who are in danger. We can then reach out and show our generosity, and perhaps we will receive some gratitude from people who are in a desperate situation rather than transferring our money to governments that are often anti, against, everything America stands for.
How do we know that Pakistan still has a government that considers–at least a clique that runs their government and that tells their government–that considers the United States less than a friend, perhaps an enemy? It is very easy to see.
We should never forget. And the real bellwether for this is the treatment of Dr. Afridi. As we ponder our policies, let us not forget Dr. Afridi, the heroic Pakistani doctor who was instrumental in the effort to capture or kill bin Laden. Dr. Afridi was arrested on May 22, 2011, 3 weeks after the United States raid which brought Osama bin Laden to justice. He has been in a Pakistani jail ever since. He was initially held beneath the ISI’s headquarters in Islamabad. There he was tortured and kept blindfolded for 8 months and handcuffed for a year, leaving physical damage on this heroic friend of America.
This man is a hero who risked his life to bring to justice the terrorist monster who organized the 9/11 attack that killed 3,000 Americans. Dr. Afridi risked his life to bring justice, and we leave him in Pakistan in a dungeon. We abandon him. We leave him to rot in that dungeon. In May 2012, Dr. Afridi was moved to the Peshawar Central Jail after being sentenced to 33 years in jail.
Dr. Afridi told FOX News he helped the CIA out of love for the United States and swore that he would help America again despite the fact that these people were torturing him. We have not only abandoned him, but Congress is considering, as I say, giving even more, hundreds of millions of dollars. In fact, the total amount of aid that they want to give to Pakistan this year is $1.3 billion in American aid to Pakistan.
This is an abomination. It is shameful. It is cowardly. It is a cowardly betrayal of a man who risked his life for us. Who else, who will stand with us in the future if we treat our friends this way?
America all so often treats our friends in a shabby way, abandons them at a time, and then our government has the gall to request that we give aid to those people who are the tormentors of Dr. Afridi. In fact, these are the men who we know this government in Pakistan is run by and controlled by a clique of people who hid Osama bin Laden, gave refuge to the murderer of 3,000 Americans for years, and then, of course, they claim they didn’t know he was there–there–right next to the school where they train all of their military officers.
Pakistan is supporting America’s enemies who are attacking American soldiers in Afghanistan and have targeted and, of course, brutally murdered other Americans and brutally murdered other people throughout that region who are hostile to their radical Islamic terrorist agenda.
Secretary Kerry says that we must give support to placate the positive elements in Pakistan. It sort of reminds me of when somebody was saying back before World War II, we better try to get with Hitler because there are some really bad guys in the Nazi Party, even worse than Hitler. Give me a break. Hitler was an evil man, and the people in Pakistan, the clique that runs that country and engages in terrorism is an evil clique, and we should not be providing them the resources they need to build their military capabilities.
Well, Pakistan’s fight against militancy is, of course, against our military. It is very evident because what we have got is attacks being conducted by what? By people who are stationed, whose operations they are operating out of areas in Pakistan. And that has been going on for years. Well, trying to give them money, from the United States to the Pakistani Government, is not buying us friendship, and it is not buying future or even current peace.
By the way, the money that we give them that isn’t being used to attack Americans and friends of ours is being used to butcher their own people and suppress the opposition within Pakistan to this brutal regime. They are terrorizing; the Pakistani Government is terrorizing whole populations of their country like the Balochis and the Sindhis.
The Balochis and the Sindhis are people that would prefer not to be under the heel of a Pakistani Government run in Islamabad. The Baloch people live in an area of South Asia now claimed by Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. But in Pakistan in particular, they comprise an important segment of the population, and they live in the least developed province. Unfortunately, it may be the least developed province, and it is where the poorest of all Pakistanis reside. All of that, if you take a look at being the poorest and least developed, but you also look at one other factor, it is the richest in natural resources of all the provinces of Pakistan. So what we have is a looting of Balochistan by that clique that runs the Pakistani Government in a way that does not, of course, benefit the people of Balochistan.
Until the arrival of the British Empire, the Baloch people had organized themselves into sort of a confederation of tribal chiefs. That is where the power was, very similar to Afghanistan’s tribal and village system. And these people, the Balochi, who recognize themselves as a national entity, they would like to control their own destiny again. But the Balochi people have been terrorized and beaten into submission by the Pakistani military.
We provide the Pakistani military with the weapons and the resources they need to conduct their terrorism not only against their neighbors, not only against Christians throughout the world, but against their own people. The Pakistani military has been unrelenting in its attacks and targeted terror raids against the Baloch population. Baloch aspirations for independence have been checked by force and by denying basic human rights and the unleashed brute force against them by a basically state terrorist repression of their people by their own government.
One particularly grotesque method of intimidation of the Baloch is called “kill and dump.” That is when the body of a man or woman who has disappeared from a village is later dumped in the middle of that village. And who do you think is doing this? We are talking about the Pakistani military authorities who are conducting this type of terrorism on their own people, even, as we have said, the same people who gave safe haven to bin Laden who had massacred 3,000 Americans, the same people who offered their territory as a staging area to launch attacks into Afghanistan supporting the Taliban.
This abysmal human rights record is the record of the Pakistani Government, and it is shameful. It is shameful that we are even considering giving a government like this more American aid, and we are even going to
have to borrow that aid from China to give it to them.
It is even worse, of course, because American foreign and military aid contributes to the security forces which, of course, are killing the Baloch. We are not just giving foreign aid; we are giving military aid as well. The Baloch people have a right to self-determination and not to live under the control of Islamabad if that is what they choose. At the very least, no military aid should be given to Pakistan to be used against its own people, whether they be Baloch or Sindhi or any other minority.
I have already proposed legislation, H.R. 1790, to end all aid to Pakistan, and have also offered amendments to both the Defense and State Department authorization bills to end this aid, but what needs to be seriously discussed is not just ending aid. We need to seriously discuss a fundamental shift in America’s policy towards South Asia, a strategy. We have had the same strategy since the cold war, but those policies that we established during the cold war no longer make sense.
In the 1960s, China fought battles in both India and the Soviet Union. The India-Soviet alignment at that point alienated the United States during the cold war, and what resulted was clearly an adversarial relationship with India.
When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the U.S. and Pakistan worked together to support the Afghan insurgents who were then battling against Soviet occupation troops. Yes, during the cold war, Pakistan was an ally, but the cold war is over. And even then when we fought with them, when they helped us support the mujahideen fight against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, they channeled our money, they channeled the lion’s share of our support to radical Islamist terrorists who should never have had any support from the United States. Much of it went to a fellow named Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. This man is horrendous. He has a horrendous record. Even then they knew that, when this man was in college, he would throw acid into the faces of young women who refused to wear burkas. And we were giving our aid to Pakistan who gave it to a man like that?
Well, the cold war is over, and there is no reason for us to give them aid that they can pass on to terrorists any more. Yes, the cold war is over, and since the Soviet Union’s collapse in the early 1990s, basic elements of American security have fundamentally changed.
The Pakistani-China friendship since that time has deepened. And who is our adversary today? It is no longer–Russia gets in the news, but who is really our threat? Radical Islam and an emerging China that is much more aggressive than the Russians could conceive of being.
It is ever more intense and is now clearer that an alliance with India against Pakistan is in the interest of the United States because Pakistan is clearly moving in the direction of becoming a self-declared enemy of the United States even as we give them military and other types of aid. Pakistan’s gut hostility towards India and its shaping of its now ever-increasing alliance with China puts them not only as an enemy to India, but as an adversary at the very least, an adversary to the United States.
Pakistan is in partnership with terrorist groups like the Taliban, and that is very clear to people who are active in that part of the world. We should not be treating this enemy as a friend. In fact, we should reach out to India and try to reestablish, just to establish–perhaps not reestablish, but to establish a positive relationship that will lead to a stronger stance for peace and stability in that part of the world as we offset the terrorist support that is coming from Pakistan.
We should not be treating an enemy country like Pakistan as a friend. It will not make them our friend. It will, instead, make them disdain us. They will disdain our giving people money who are our enemies. They will look at it as we are cowardly; and it is an example of such cowardice. We are giving billions to a military and a government that is controlled by a military clique that despises us and is cooperating with those who would destroy us. Not one cent to Pakistan. The money going to Pakistan is going contrary to our interests, to our security, and to the stability of South Asia. Let us double our efforts to work with India and other countries in South and Central Asia that truly desire to be America’s friends.
And nowhere, of course, is our hesitancy to do that, to reach out and to try to support our friends, nowhere is that hesitancy more evident than now and what we are doing with Egypt. I would call the attention of the American people to what is going on in Egypt. In terms of the long run, it is far more important to American security and the stability of the world and world peace what is going on in Egypt right now than what is happening in the Crimea right now.
The Egyptian army is the most potent force standing between radical Islam and its objective to terrorize and subjugate whole populations throughout the Middle East and thus put themselves into a position of facing down and defeating Western civilization.
We are talking about radical Islamists who believe in what they believe in. Just as in the cold war, the communists believed in that gobbledygook. But the fact is, radical Islam sees that, and they see Western civilization as the enemy, and the United States as the foundation of Western civilization, and they see any government that is trying to be democratic as their adversary and enemy.
It is clear the Egyptian people understood that when they rejected the radical overtures of the former regime that was in power in Egypt. They rose up against that government, the Morsi government, and right now whether or not Egypt is a sucked into a turmoil and whether radical Islam takes over that country, it is now in the hands of a very few leaders of that country who are we shunning. It is clear that our reluctance to back the stance of Egypt is emboldening the radical Islamic terrorist elements who now will target Egypt because we are hesitant to get behind General al-Sisi and the Egyptian military, who, by the way, are committed to bringing back democratic elections and having democratic elections and a democratic process as compared to the regime that they will be replacing, which was dedicated to establishing an Islamic caliphate and was in the process of trimming back the democratic capabilities of the Egyptian people.
How ironic is it that if Egypt falls, there will be chaos and radical Islamic expansionism in that part of world, and how important it is for us not to have that for world stability and our own national security. How ironic is it that we are holding back, but Russia, under Mr. Putin, just last month provided, maybe 2 months ago, went over to Egypt and provided $2 billion worth of military aid to help them defeat radical Islam. Russia’s proposed arms deal with Egypt and its endorsement of Egypt’s military ruler, General al-Sisi, and his efforts to run for President is a signal to the Arab leaders that, unlike the United States, Russia will back those courageous enough to take on the radical Islamic threat to human freedom and human progress.
The Egyptian people were saved from Islamic extremist rule. They were saved by a small group of people who we are putting roadblocks in the way of General al-Sisi. We actually convinced the Egyptian military to be dependent on the United States over the years, and now, when they are in a crisis, we are refraining from selling them the helicopters and the spare parts they need to thwart the radical Islamic terrorists who threaten a battle in the Sinai desert. If we let the Egyptian military down and we send that signal, we abandon them, as we have abandoned Dr. Alfridi. No one in the world will ever trust us again. There will be a major expansion of radical Islamic terrorist regimes, and the world we know will be far less stable and far less secure. Our country, and other democratic countries in the world, will be in dramatic danger.
The Egyptian people were saved from Islamic extremist rule by a very courageous group of people. We can’t let them hang out on a branch by themselves. And yes, the United States and the rest of the world were saved by the actions of a small group of people who stood up as Morsi and the former government was cutting away the freedom of those people and establishing this radical Islamic caliphate. Well, a small group of courageous people stood up to side with the people who had gone into the streets to oppose that and said, No, we are not going to let this government superimpose this type of regime. It is contrary to the will of the Egyptian people. And they have, I might add, put Egypt back on a course towards free elections.
Egypt, of course, is one of the most strategic countries. Yet, as I say, we don’t hear our administration, this administration, coming here to plead the case about giving aid to those brave people in Egypt who are fighting radical Islamic terrorism. Instead, they are requesting hundred of millions of dollars, yes, over a billion dollars in aid to Pakistan, which is aiding radical Islamic terrorists and siding with China.
Well, if you think that none of this makes sense, you are right, it doesn’t, but it is up to us, the American people, to hold our own government accountable, to make sure that we do not give aid to our enemies and to make sure that our government is doing things that make sense. We should be sticking with our friends and opposing our enemies. How much more common sense does it take, although our government has not been operating that way. It is up to us, the American people, to make sure that we do not give aid to Pakistan and we support those people who would have Western democratic government in Egypt, and to support the people like the Baloch and the Sindhis, who are struggling under the oppression of radical Islamic terrorist regimes, to try to find their own way and have their own government and have their own democratic system
With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time”, said Rep.ROHRABACHER.